What’s brown, flat, and smelly when you smash it? A stinkbug, of course! It’s the time of year again where these little pests like to find their way into homes across Maryland, looking for a place to settle in for the winter.

For homeowners, stinkbugs are generally more of an unpleasant nuisance. Though they can do significant damage to gardens, they are harmless to both humans and structures. That said, if you see them in substantial numbers, you might have a problem.

The goods news is that you can prevent them from spreading very quickly. Here are a few tips to keep stinkbugs out of your house and a few ideas of what to do if you find them.

How to Keep Stinkbugs Out

Like many insects, stinkbugs often find their way into homes when the weather starts getting cooler. They’re looking for somewhere cozy to overwinter (i.e., hibernate). And while that means they aren’t trying to eat your food, furniture, carpets, etc., they may initially be attracted to fruits or plants in your house.

The issue is that when you see one, you’re likely to find a lot more. When stinkbugs find an excellent play to stay, they will emit a pheromone that attracts other stinkbugs.

Typically, stinkbugs will get in through gaps around windows, door frames, or pipes and spigots. It’s always a good idea to lay down some extra weatherproofing around the door or caulking up cracks or other openings around windows. They can sometimes find their way through ventilation openings like attic or crawlspace vents, so they need to be screened. If you already have screens, be sure to patch up any holes you find to prevent them from coming in. Lastly, if you have a chimney, try to keep the flue closed when it’s not in use.

How to Get Rid of Stinkbugs

If you encounter stinkbugs, be sure not to squish them, as that will release a very unpleasant-smelling chemical that gives them their name. What’s more, this smell can linger a long time if the chemical gets absorbed by walls, flooring, or carpets.

Instead, the best approach is to vacuum them and dispose of the bag immediately to prevent them from crawling back out. This is the easiest way to get rid of a large population of stinkbugs, though there are several home remedies you can try, such as spraying them with soapy water and vinegar.

That said, if you are faced with a major infestation, timing is critical, so don’t delay in calling a professional to control them properly.

Call In The Pros

Of course, if you do have a stinkbug invasion, it might be a good idea to call in the pros. We’re happy to help alleviate any stinkbug colonies you find and to take steps to ensure they don’t come back. Contact us to schedule a free inspection and estimate.

Eco Care is a family-owned pest-control company. Eco Care owner Erich Grove, a board-certified entomologist, uses science to get insects and other pests under control in Howard County and surrounding areas of Maryland and that means you have science on your side. If stink bugs are troubling you and your home, please call our office at 410-465-3709 or schedule treatment online.